To get life in prison, you had to have done something exceptionally nasty. So it’s no wonder that people were quite confused to discover that a three-year-old boy received this sentence. Hardly over a year old during the event of the crime he was convicted of, the boy was held accountable nonetheless.
Naturally, it caused quite the controversy and it got the world talking. But how did this happen? Keep reading to learn more about the three-year-old who was sentenced to life in prison.
Odd circumstances. There’s nothing wrong with giving a toddler a timeout. If they need a punishment appropriate for whatever they’ve done, then so be it. Parents will determine what ought to be done, and that’s typically the end of it. But in the case of a seemingly innocent three-year-old boy in Egypt, his punishment literally lasted a lifetime.
Sentenced. As wild as it may seem, three-year-old Ahmed Mansour Qorany Sharara was being sought by police. There was a warrant out for his arrest, as it was believed that he had been involved in a triple homicide, according to CNN. Obviously, something must have been wrong, but that didn’t stop the manhunt from happening.
A frightened father. It’s only natural that the boy’s father, Mansour Qorany Sharara, feared for his son’s life. Perplexed as to how his son could possibly be entangled in this sort of situation, he did everything in his power to make sure that police could not get their hands on him, even if it put his own life and freedom at risk.
A suspicious verdict. In January 2014, 116 individuals were arrested as a whole for the murder of three people, and also for inciting chaos at a political demonstration. For some strange reason, Mansour’s son (who was only 16 months old at the time) was somehow involved with the crime and was included in the 116 wanted culprits.
Detained. When the police came for his son, Mansour was detained for about four months. They detained him instead of Ahmed, even though that’s who they were looking for, because of the boy’s age. Eventually, Mansour was released by the judge, but this is hardly the end of the story. Police were still preparing to lock the boy up.
On the run. After he was released, Mansour fled. Afraid that he would be arrested as well, he took off to parts unknown, determined to figure out how his son could have possibly been involved in a crime that could have led him to a lifetime in prison. This lasted for well over a year.
Mistaken identity. As it turns out, this was all a big misunderstanding. This was a case of mistaken identity, according to General Abu Bakr Abdel Karim. This all came to light when Mansour was being interviewed by TV presenter Wael Elebrashy.
The interview. During the interview, Mansour broke down into tears while holding his son, overwhelmed and terrified. He couldn’t understand how his son was such a person of interest when, during the time of the attack, he was just learning how to walk. Thankfully, the attention from the show helped solve the problem.
Justice. Elebrashy hardly shied away from the mistake that had happened, and how serious of an issue it was on a grand scale. He asked, “How could people trust justice if they see this?” Not only did this aid in keeping his son safe, it also drew much needed attention to the situation.
Public outrage. It wasn’t long before the public joined Mansour in his call for action. Something was wrong and something needed to be done. Incidentally, a day after the interview was released, it had become official that Ahmed was free and the manhunt was over.
The same name. As it turns out, the reason why the boy was being targeted and was told he would be jailed for life was because he just so happened to share the same name as the real suspect in the crime. The real culprit was a 16-year-old, not a 16-month-old.
Safe. After the boy’s name was cleared, along with his father’s, they were able to return home. But this was hardly the end of the problem. Although they were off the hook, what went down opened people’s eyes. If arresting a three-year-old boy was a problem, what other sort of corruption was the Egyptian legal system dealing with?
A corrupt system. This event, though unfortunate, has drawn quite a bit of attention, drawing people’s attention onto the goings on of how justice is dealt with in Egypt. Ahmed aside, how certain are officials that they’ve got any of the right suspects?
Looking into the problem. Unsatisfied with the way the legal system is working, criminal justice researcher Karim Ennarah spoke out about the Egyptian justice system needing quite a bit of work. He said that “The main problem with that is that there are probably other cases that are not as striking where such mistakes are not corrected because you are not talking about a 2-year-old child.”
Disintegration. The fact that it took the events that subsequently unfolded following the boy’s arrest to shed light on the fact that there was very clearly a problem just proves that something needs to be fixed. Ennarah added, “I would go as far as saying it is disintegrating, the justice system. It’s on the verge of complete dysfunctionality. ”